In an interview with the tech news organization CRN, Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer said that while the company has “ceded some of the boundary between hardware and software innovation” to Apple in the past, it is not going to do that anymore.
“We are trying to make it absolutely clear that we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,” he told the publication at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference on 9 July 2012.He further said that Microsoft will be going all out for the consumer cloud market, hardware, software and the tablet market as it looks ahead.
Obstinate to beat Google’s profits and not paying heed to the Apple’s rise certainly left a dent in Microsoft’s arsenal. It was the smashing success of the iPad, coupled with the decline of the traditional PC maker, which came as a big blow to Microsoft.
Now the PC giant is geared up to grab the burgeoning tablet market. The company has already set the ball in motion with its more touch-friendly Windows 8 Surface tablet and PCs.
Not only has the company revamped its OS with Windows 8 but it’s akin to Apple’s popular store it has launched its own Metro app store. It has also tinkered around with some of its most recognizable OS features such as the start menu. Those who still believe in the old school of navigation through the OS can still use the trusty mouse-and-keyboard. But it also has its own, completely different live-tile interface reminiscent of Windows Phone.
Microsoft has managed to create a stir successfully prior to its new launch, not only with previews of Windows 8 but also with the introduction of its Surface tablet, which has been appreciated by techies for its novel keyboard cover design. But the final the verdict is still to come till they still need to get their hands on the tablet — or until Microsoft reveals the price.
It was Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak himself who was bowled over with the tablet’s design. In a video from a Chilean conference posted on the iDownload Blog, Wozniak said that when he saw the Surface he joked, “Steve Jobs came back reincarnated at Microsoft.” Wozniak also said that Microsoft is clearly changing as a company. “I don’t remember this sort of thing happening in a long, long time with Microsoft, so I’m very happy,” he said.
Ballmer said that he expects to sell a “few million” of the tablets, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, and indicated in the CRN interview that the Surface will be the company’s primary focus in the coming months.
Also, he didn’t rule out the possibility that Microsoft may launch its own smart phone to compete with Apple’s iPhone in the future.
“Look, we’ll see what happens,” he said. “We have good partners with Nokia, HDC in the phone space. I love what we’ve got going on with the Surface. We are going to focus on Surface and our other Windows 8 Tablet partners and see if we can go make something happen.”